Chapter 2: Time of death-The State of Goses and departure of the soul

This article is an excerpt from our Sefer

Chapter 2: Time of death-The State of Goses and departure of the soul

1. Goses-Nearing death:

A Goses is a person who is in such a deteriorating state of illness that his death is imminent and may occur at any moment.[1] [Some Poskim[2] rule that a true Goses is only one who will pass away within three days, as explained in Halacha A regarding life expectancy. However, a critically ill patient who can live for many days, weeks, and perhaps even months, is a Safek Goses.] There are various laws that apply to such a person both prior to reaching this state, and while in this state.

 

A. His status of life:[3]

A Goses is considered like a live person for all matters [and therefore nothing that is normally done to a deceased may be done to a Goses] until he actually dies.

Legal status of Get and Matanos:[4] A Goses [who can speak[5]] may give a Get and give someone a present until he dies.

Life expectancy:[6] A person in a state of Goses is assumed to not be able to live for more than three days, and hence he can be assumed to be dead after the passing of three days, and his relatives are to mourn him[7], if they are out of town and have no way of verifying whether he is still alive. [Nonetheless, when he is in front of us, so long as he is still breathing, he considered to be alive.[8]]

 

Q&A

May one desecrate Shabbos for one who is a Goses?

Some Poskim[9] rule one is not to desecrate Shabbos on behalf of a Goses, to help him live.[10] Other Poskim[11], however, rule one may desecrate Shabbos on behalf of a Goses, to help lengthen his life. Some Poskim[12] rule that while one may desecrate Shabbos to save the life of a Goses, one is not obligated to do so if there is no chance of recovery. Other Poskim[13] rule that if there is no chance of recovery and the person is living with excruciating pain, then even during the week it is forbidden to do actions that lengthen his life and pain in this world. A Rav who is expert in the medical field is to be contacted in all circumstances.

 

B. Funeral preparations:[14]

One may not make funeral preparations until he dies. Thus, one may not hire Maspidim, perform Keriah, recite Tziduk Hadin, or bring the coffin into the home until he dies.

Digging a grave:[15] Some Poskim[16] rule one may not dig a grave for the person until he dies.[17] [However, from the letter of the law it is permitted to do so, so long as the Goses is unaware.[18] Even according to this approach, one is not to dig it on Erev Shabbos, close to Shabbos, unless one expects the burial to take place before Shabbos.[19] Likewise, one is not to dig it before Yom Tov, even if he expects the person to die on Yom Tov.[20] Practically, we avoid digging a grave for a sick person even if he is unaware, in order not to diminish his Mazal.[21]] It is forbidden to ever dig a grave and leave it open until the next day, for a corpse who will not be buried that day, and if one does so there is danger involved.[22] [Thus, if the grave was already dug and the burial will not take place that day, the grave is to be refilled.[23] Alternatively, it is to be covered over with a board.[24] It is however permitted to prepare burial shrouds for the person.[25]] See Chapter 4 Halacha 9 for the full details of this matter!

C. Moving the Goses:[26]

It is forbidden to move the Goses. One who closes his eyes as the death is transpiring is considered to have murdered him.[27] The same applies for any touch or movement; one who does so is considered to have murdered him.[28] [However, some Poskim[29] rule that all movements that are done for medical purposes, to try to help the Goses survive or get out of his state of Gesisa, are permitted to be done. Likewise, the Goses may be moved out from a fire.[30] However, if the movement will not help the Goses survive but simply to make him more comfortable, it is forbidden to move him.[31] One may however give him to drink, or a medication to lessen his pain.[32] One may not move the Goses even for the sake of cleaning him from his bowels. He is therefore to be cleaned prior to entering the state of Gesisa.[33]]

Actions that may not be done to a Goses:[34] One may not tie his mouth closed, or smear oil on him, or bathe him, or stuff his orifices or close his eyes until he dies.[35] One may not remove a pillow from under him[36], and he is not to be moved onto sand, or earthenware, or the earth.[37] One may not place on his stomach neither a bowl, or cup of water, or kernel of salt.

D. Doing things to delay or hasten his death:[38]

Actively hastening his death:[39] It is forbidden to actively hasten the death of a Goses. [This applies even if the Goses is suffering, and one’s intent is to free him from suffering.[40]] One may thus not remove the pillow from under a person who has been a Goses for a long time and is unable to pass away.[41] He may not be moved, and one may not place keys of a Shul under his head in order so he passes away. [The movement itself hastens the death, and it is hence forbidden to be done.[42]]

Passively hastening his death:[43] It is only forbidden to actively hasten the death, while to simply remove an impediment to the death is permitted. This means as follows: If there is something that is delaying his death, such as there is a banging noise nearby, or there is salt on his tongue, which is delaying his soul’s leave of the body, it is permitted to remove the salt from there [and stop the sound].[44] [Furthermore, some Poskim[45] rule it is even forbidden to actively do things to delay his death, and one is obligated to remove the impediments which are delaying his death. However, other Poskim[46] rule that there is no prohibition against delaying his death, and it is simply permitted to remove things that are delaying it and not an obligation. See next regarding medical treatment.]

 

E. Medical treatment:[47]

All movements that are done for medical purposes, to try to help the Goses survive or get out of his state of Gesisa, are permitted to be done.  Some Poskim[48] rule that this applies even if the medical treatment will only help the Goses live for only slightly longer. [According to this approach, one is obligated to continue all medical treatments for the Goses, so long as he can live for even one more moment.[49]] However, other Poskim[50] argue that one may not do anything to delay his death. Practically, regarding whether one may/should/shouldn’t attach a Goses to life support, intubation, and perform resuscitation-and whether he may be removed from life-support-see Chapter 1 Halacha 10-11!]

F. May a Kohen enter the room/house of a Goses?[51]

A Goses does not give off impurity until he dies.[52] Nevertheless, some Poskim[53] rule it is forbidden to enter the house/room of a Goses.[54] Other Poskim[55] rule it is permitted to enter the room/house of a Goses. Practically, one is to be stringent.[56] If the Kohen was already in the room when the Gesisa occurred, he is to be stringent to leave. However, he may delay for the sake of getting dressed, and if the Kohen is sleeping, there is no obligation to wake him.[57]

 

Q&A

May the relatives of a Goses have marital relations?[58]

One whose parent is in a state of Gesisa and his/her death is imminent, is to avoid having marital relations. Nevertheless, from the letter of the law it is permitted for children to have marital relations even when their parents are in a state of Gesisa. 

 

May the relatives of a Goses attend a Simcha?[59]

From the letter of the law, it is permitted for the children of a Goses to attend a Simcha, however it is proper to avoid doing so.

2. Final prayers:

A. Saying Viduiy; asking forgiveness; Blessing children:

See Chapter 1 Halacha 12-13!

B. Learning Torah:[60]

One who is present at the time that the ill person is nearing death is to speak with him words of Torah in order so he deceases from this world to the next world with words of Torah.

C. Final prayers:

One is to wash the hands of the Goses and he is to recite the Psalm of Mizmor Havu LaHashem Bnei Eilim and the prayer of Elokaiy Neshama.[61] There are numerous other prayers which are recited, and are recorded in the Sefer Mavor Yabok[62], of which a list will be brought below. [The full prayers are brought in the end of this chapter. The prayers are to be said by those nearby, and mainly by the ill person, if this is possible. The bystanders are to stare at the face of the person as his soul leaves his body.[63] ]

 

List of Prayers for the final moments:

1.  Vayehi Noam three times

2.  Psalm 121

3.  Psalm 130

4.  Psalm 91

5.  Adon Olam

6.  Ana B’koach[64]

7.  V’al Ken Ne’kaveh

If there is not much time remaining, then one is to begin from the prayer of Adon Olam, and if there is even less time remaining, one is to begin with Shema Yisrael.

 

As the soul departs, those who are present are to say the following out loud:[65]

1. Shema Yisrael.

2. Baruch Sheim [three times silently].

3. Hashem Hu Haelokim [seven times].

4.  Hashem Melech [one time].

3. Time of death:

The time between life and death is considered extremely sacred in Jewish tradition. On the one hand, the passage marks the conclusion of the soul’s journey on earth. On the other hand, death heralds the beginning of the soul’s eternal life in Heaven. Kabbalah teaches that at the moment of passing, every positive thought, word, or deed that occurred during the person’s life is concentrated into a pristine spiritual light. This light is revealed to the world and in the Heavenly spheres, where it continues to shine and influence those above and below.[66]

Being present by death-not to leave him alone:[67] A person is not to be allowed to pass away alone.[68] Therefore, when the people present see that death is imminent, they are to remain in the room until after the passing. It is a Mitzvah to be in proximity[69] to the person while his soul is leaving.[70] [Even if one has to Daven, and the time of prayer is passing, one is not to leave the room if he is the only one present who knows how to deal with the corpse after death.[71] The children and relatives of the person should especially be near him at the time of death.[72] A Kohen may not be in the room with the Goses at any time, especially upon death.[73] One may not desecrate Shabbos for the sake of being near the deceased.[74] It is best for the people present to have gone to Mikveh that day.[75] It is best that a Nidda not be present.[76]]

Learning Torah and saying Tehillim:[77] One who is present at the time that the ill person is nearing death, is to speak with him words of Torah in order so he deceases from this world to the next world with words of Torah. [It is proper to gather a Minyan of ten men to learn Torah and say Tehillim at the time of the passing. They are certainly not to talk words of vanity.[78] The people around the Goses are to repent.[79]]

Prayers to say when the Neshama is leaving the body:[80] Those who are present at the time of death are to say the following out loud as the soul leaves the body: 1) Shema Yisrael; 2) Baruch Sheim [three times silently]. 3) Hashem Hu Haelokim [seven times]. 4) Hashem Melech [one time].

Where to stand:[81] The people in the room are to stand around the Goses [at a comfortable distance[82]], but not opposite his feet.

Not to scream:[83] When the death is transpiring, one is not to scream or wail, [and is rather to remain calm].[84] [Those who are unable to withhold themselves are to leave the room.]

Lighting candles:[85] Candles are to be [inconspicuously] lit near the Goses as he approaches death.[86] [Some however light it only after the death.[87]]

Open windows when Neshama leaves:[88] Some are accustomed to open the windows at the time of death.[89] Others however do so only after the death.[90]

Not to touch corpse: One who closes the eyes of the Goses as the death is transpiring is considered to have murdered him.[91] The same applies for any touch or movement; one who does so is considered to have murdered him.[92] Therefore, one is to delay touching him until some time passes after the death.[93] [Practically, one is to delay touching or moving the corpse for at least 15 minutes after death.[94]]

Check if dead using feather:[95] One is to check if death has transpired through placing a feather near the nostrils of the victim, and if it stays there for quite some time without movement, it is a sign of death. [Today, when the passing commonly takes place in a hospital, with modern methods of monitoring death, there is no need to perform this.[96]]

No limb out of bed:[97] At the time of death, one is to be very careful that no limb of the person sticks out of the bed. [Thus, prior to death, one is to position items near the Goses, to prevent his limbs from extending past the bed. Nevertheless, in the event that he does stretch a limb beyond the bed, one is not to return it. One may however gently place a sheet over it, hence covering the extending limb.[98]]

4. After death:[99]

As stated above, one is to delay touching or moving the corpse for approximately 15 minutes after death.[100] The following actions are to be taken immediately after death, or after the passing of 15 minutes:

A. Notifying Chevra Kadisha, hospital staff:

Notifying the Chevra Kadisha: If the passing occurred on a weekday, one is to immediately call the local Chevra Kadisha to notify them of the death and await further instructions. If the passing occurred on Shabbos or Yom Tov[101], all the laws of forbidden activities remain in effect, until after Shabbos/Yom Tov. One is to notify the Chevra Kaddish as soon as Shabbos/Yom Tov concludes. 

Instructing the hospital staff: If the passing occurred in a hospital, one is to notify the staff that the Chevra Kadisha will be attending to the deceased, and they should wait for instructions before doing anything to the body. They should not remove monitor leads, tubes, etc until instructed by the Chevra Kadisha. If the hospital staff insists on moving the body to the hospital mortuary, a Shomer is to accompany the body and try to remain within viewing distance until members of the Chevra Kadisha arrive and take charge.

B. Actions performed to the deceased:[102]

The following actions are to be performed by the Chevra Kadisha or under their instructions:

Cutting medical tubes attached to body:[103] If there are tubes or I.V. lines attached to the body of the deceased, one should not remove them and is rather to wait for instructions from the Chevra Kadisha. If for any reason they must be removed, the tubes should be cut by a Jew, and the part nearest, or in the body, should remain attached.

Towels and clothing attached to body of deceased: Any clothing, towels, linens, or similar items that may contain blood or fluids of the deceased, should be saved in a bag and given to the Chevra Kadisha to be buried with the body.

Covering the face:[104] Immediately after death [after 15 minutes[105]] the face of the deceased is to be covered with a white sheet/cloth.[106] [This applies even on Shabbos and Yom Tov.] One is not to look at the face of the deceased.[107]

Closing the eyes:[108] [After 15 minutes’ pass after death[109]] one is to close the eyes of the deceased.[110] [If there are sons of the deceased present, the sons are to close the eyes of the deceased, and if there is a Bechor present he is to be delegated the job.[111] This applies even if the father/sons are Kohanim.[112] Some[113] say the above applies only when a father passing away, while by a mother, there is no need for specifically her sons to close her eyes. In all cases, if there are no sons available, it is to be done by other relatives, or bystanders. Many are accustomed not to touch the deceased and delegate the duty of closing the eyes to the Chevra Kadisha.[114]]

Closing the mouth:[115] The mouth of the deceased is to be closed. If necessary, his chin is to be tied in a way that closes his mouth. [If this is not possible, his mouth is to be stuffed with some material.]

Straightening the limbs:[116] The limbs of the deceased are to be straightened and his head is to be slightly raised, resting on an item that does not contract impurity. Some are also accustomed to tie the thumbs of each hand.

Covering and Placing him on ground: All clothing is removed from the deceased, up until his undergarments, and he is then covered by a white sheet.[117] He is to be placed on the floor[118], lying flat on his back, with his feet facing the door of the room. A stone is to be placed under his head.[119] He is not to rest on anything that generates heat.[120] Placing him on the floor is to be done carefully with the help of 2-3 people, and when it is done, the people ask forgiveness from the deceased and mention his name and father’s name.[121] Several verses are recited as he is placed on the ground.[122] [See end of chapter for the prayers.]

Gentile:[123] A Gentile is not to come in contact with the deceased.

C. Matters performed by, and relating to, relatives/bystanders:

Light candles:[124] Candles are to be lit and placed near the head of the deceased.

Open windows when Neshama leaves:[125] The windows are to be opened now if they were not opened prior to death.

Mirrors and pictures:[126] All mirrors and pictures of people in the room should be covered or turned around.

Eating and drinking: Some Poskim[127] rule it is permitted for those who are not in Aninus to eat and drink even in the presence of the corpse. Other Poskim[128] however are stringent to extend this prohibition to all people present, that they may not eat in the same room as the corpse. Practically, one is to be stringent in this matter.[129] All exposed water in the room, or home, at the time of passing should be discarded as explained in the next Halacha.

Asking for forgiveness: Relatives and friends may enter the room to ask for forgiveness from the deceased for any pain or hard feelings that might have come between them. If one was not nearby at the time of passing, he may do so later at the funeral or gravesite.

Conversation: It is only permitted to speak in the presence of the deceased of matters relating to the funeral/burial, or his eulogy.[130] Some Poskim[131] rule that it is thus forbidden to talk of mundane matters in presence of the deceased. If the body is outside, then this prohibition only applies if one is within four cubits [192 cm] of the deceased.[132] However, if the body is inside a room, then it is forbidden to speak of mundane matters within the entire room.[133]

Learning Torah: It is forbidden to speak Torah in the presence of the deceased if it does not relate to the deceased.[134] This prohibition applies even if one is a four cubits distance from the deceased.[135] It is, however, permitted to speak words of Torah in relation to the deceased and in respect of the deceased, even within his four cubits.[136] [One may thus learn Mishnayos in his honor and so is the custom.[137]]

Tehillim: It is permitted, and encouraged, to recite Psalms in honor of the deceased even if one is near him, within four cubits.[138] Tehillim may be read even at night, prior to midnight.[139] Some Poskim[140] rule it is even permitted for the Onen to recite Tehillim on behalf of the deceased while he is in the presence of the deceased and acting as a Shomer. Other Poskim[141], however, rule it is forbidden for the Onen to recite Tehillim.

Greetings/Sheilas Shalom:[142] One does not greet others in the vicinity of the deceased. [Today, however, many are lenient in this matter and permit to greet others.[143] Others argue against this custom.[144] One may only be lenient regarding saying good morning and other greetings of the like, however not regarding the words “Shalom Aleichem.”[145]]

Wearing Tzitzis:[146] One may not wear revealed Tzitzis when he is near the body, just as is the law by a cemetery, and he is thus required to cover his Tzitzis. This applies for anyone that is within four Amos [192 cm] of a corpse.

Keriah: From the letter of the law, the Keriah is to be performed by the relatives at the time of death, during the recital of Tziduk Hadin.[147] Likewise, from the letter of the law, everyone[148] who is present when a Jew, whether male or female, passes away, is obligated to perform Keriah.[149] Practically, the custom is to delay from performing the Keriah at the time of death and rather to perform the Keriah prior to the start of the funeral [i.e. prior to the corpse being removed from the funeral home or house].[150] Likewise, it is only performed by the relatives in mourning. See Chapter 6 Halacha 1C for the full details of this matter.

Baruch Dayan Emes: After death, the blessing of Baruch Dayan Haemes is said by the bystanders without Hashem’s name [i.e. Shem or Malchus, thus saying the three words of Baruch Dayan Haemes]. The relatives who sit Shiva are accustomed to delay reciting the full blessing until Keriah is performed before the funeral procession. See Chapter 6 Halacha 2B for the full details of this Halacha!

Tziduk Hadin:[151] After the passing, the prayer of Tziduk Hadin is to be recited. [It is said in a loud and teary voice.[152] Practically however, today the custom is not to recite it at the time of death, but rather after the burial.[153]] On days that Tachanun is omitted, Tziduk Hadin is not recited.[154] See Chapter 8 Halacha 6H for the full details of this matter!

Wash hands three times:[155] One who touches a corpse is required to wash his hands one time [immediately] afterwards. One who is in the presence of a corpse [but did not touch the corpse] is not required to wash his hands afterwards. Nevertheless, the custom is to wash the hands after entering the same room as a corpse. [This applies even if one was not within four Amos of the body.[156] The custom is to wash the hands three times inconsecutively. This applies even by a Nefel, which is a still born, or a baby who died within thirty days of birth.[157]]

May one kiss the deceased:

A person is not to kiss his son or daughter who passed away.[158] This applies even to a Nefel.[159] Some Poskim[160] rule one may kiss other relatives who passed away.[161] Others[162] rule one is not to kiss any person who passed away.

Holding hands:[163]

One is not to hold onto the hands of the deceased and say “Take me with you.” One who does so is considered responsible for his own death.

Looking at the face of the deceased:[164]

It is forbidden to look at the face of a deceased person.[165] It is for this reason that his face is to be covered right away. This applies even to a Nefel.[166]

Taking a picture of the deceased:[167]

It is forbidden to take a picture of the deceased and show it to people as doing so is considered disrespectful of the dead.

The angels greet the souls of Tzadikim:[168]

At the time of the death of a Tzadik, there are three groups of angels who come to greet the soul and tell him to come in peace.

 

Death occurred on Shabbos or Yom Tov:

See Halacha 8!

5. Spilling all water in the vicinity:[169]

It is customary to spill out all the drawn water in the neighborhood in which the person passed away.[170] [Water of the neighborhood should be spilled even if a child, who is less than thirty days old, passes away, and even if a gentile passes away.[171] On Shabbos, one is not to spill the water.[172] However, on Yom Tov one is required to do so.[173] One is not required to spill out water that was frozen at the time of death.[174] One is only required to spill out plain water and not other water based liquids.[175] Some Poskim[176] rule one is not required to spill out water that was covered tightly. However, others[177] rule that even sealed water is required to be spilled, and so is implied from Admur.[178]]

Definition of neighborhood: Some Poskim[179] rule a neighborhood is defined as three houses [or apartments]. [This refers to the two houses that are closest to the house of the deceased, as well as the actual house of the deceased.[180] This includes the two closest houses on each side of the house of the deceased [i.e. two houses square[181]].[182]] Other Poskim[183] however rule that only the [house of the deceased and the] actual [next door] neighbor must spill the water, and so is the custom. [According to all, we follow the area the person was in at the times of death and not his home or place of origin, even if he was brought to that location later on.[184] Thus, if the person passed away in a hospital, his neighbors by his house do not need to spill the water. However, the hospital rooms near the room of the deceased are to spill their water. If there is a street that separates between the houses of the deceased and a neighbor’s house, the neighbor is not required to spill the water.[185]]

Water used for a Mitzvah:[186] One is not required to spill water that was drawn for the sake of a Mitzvah, such as to use as Mayim Shelanu for the Matzos on Pesach.[187]

 

Summary:

When a person passes away, all the plain water that is in that house [i.e. water bottles, cups and buckets of water] is to be spilled. Likewise, the neighbors of closest proximity to that home are to also spill their water. On Shabbos, no water is to be spilled.

 

Q&A

May the water be used for non-eating purposes?

Some Poskim[188] rule that the water which is meant to be spilled may not to be used for any purpose. Other Poskim[189], however, rule it may be used for non-eating purposes, such as for laundry and bathing.

 

If one mixed the water with other foods, may the food be eaten?

Some Poskim[190] the food is forbidden to be consumed even if it contains 60x the water. However, if it was used for the Shabbos food, it may be eaten.[191] Other Poskim[192], however, rule the food may always be eaten.

If one said a blessing over the water and then heard that a person passed away in the area, may he drink it?[193]

He is to swallow a sip of water and spill out the remainder.

Must the water be spilled after a Nefel [i.e. still born, or baby who died within thirty days] passes away?[194]

One is to spill the water in the home after a Nefel passes away. However, if the child was born dead, water is not needed to be spilled.

6. Publicizing the death:[195]

There is no obligation to publicize the death of a person, even to the son or daughter of the deceased [even on the day of death, prior to the burial[196]]. On the contrary, one who publicizes such news, on him it says “Motzi Diba Hu Kesil.” The children and relatives of the deceased may even be invited to a wedding feast prior to them being told, being that they do not know.[197] [Likewise, a husband may be intimate with his wife who lost a relative prior to notifying her.[198] The above is all in reference to after the passing. However, prior to the passing, the children are to be told of their parent’s illness in order so they visit him/her prior to their passing.[199]]

Practical directive regarding notifying the children of deceased:[200] As stated above, there is no obligation to publicize the death of a person, even to the son or daughter of the deceased. Nevertheless, despite this ruling, the custom is to notify the male children of the deceased in order for them to say Kaddish, however regarding daughters, there is no custom to notify them. [Practically, the custom today is to inform all the children in order so they participate in the funeral.[201]]

Not to lie: The above is only with regards to initially notifying another of the death, however if one is asked by a person as to the wellbeing of a relative of his and one knows that the relative has passed away, he is not allowed to lie and say the relative is alive.[202] Nevertheless, it is permitted for him to answer in a vague way, not explicitly telling him of his passing, and leaving room for the asker to misunderstand his reply.[203] [Regarding hiding the death from a sick or old relative, see Chapter 12 Halacha 3!]

 

Summary:

One is not to publicize the news of a death unnecessarily, and there is no obligation to notify people of the death, even if they are close friends or mourning relatives, with exception to the sons [and daughters] of the deceased, of which the custom is to notify them. If asked, one is not to lie about the death but may answer in an unrevealing method.

 

Q&A

May one publicize the death out of respect for the deceased?[204]

It is permitted, and encouraged, to publicize the death in order for people to come and pay their final respects by the funeral.

Q&A on notification of death on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May one notify the children or other relatives of the death on Shabbos?

It is forbidden on Shabbos to speak of matters which brings one pain, such as the death of a close friend, and the like.[205] Thus, from the letter of the law, one is not to inform friends and relatives of the death of an individual on Shabbos.[206] Nevertheless, some are accustomed to being lenient to notify the relatives of the death even on Shabbos, through a gentile messenger [i.e. gentile makes a phone call to the relatives and leaves a message on the answering machine], in order so they can head out to the funeral immediately after Shabbos.[207] Practically, however, one may only be lenient in a time of great need, as stated above, otherwise it is forbidden to do so both due to the prohibition of Amira Lenachri, and due to the adherence of not to spread bad news, especially on Shabbos.[208] There is no room to be lenient in this even in the event that one’s Rebbe has died and one desires to spread the news to the world.[209]

May one notify the children or other relatives of the death on Yom Tov/Chol Hamoed?

Some Poskim[210] rule that if the death occurred on Yom Tov/Chol Hamoed, it is forbidden to notify even the sons, as this will prevent them from fulfilling the Biblical command of Simchas Yom Tov.

Before Yom Tov:[211] One may notify the relatives of the death/burial before Yom Tov so they can begin sitting Shiva and become exempt by Yom Tov.

May one break the news of the death of a relative on Purim?[212]

One is not to tell someone of the death of a relative on Purim if he will have to sit Shiva for him. Rather one is to delay the message until after Purim. This applies even to the son of the deceased. [Regarding if this applies even prior to the burial, see footnote.[213]]

7. Shemira/Shomer:

A. The law:

A deceased [Jew, whether male or female] needs to be guarded.[214] One who guards the deceased is considered to be performing a [a Biblical[215]] Mitzvah and is hence Biblically exempt from performing any other command.[216] The person who guards the deceased is called a Shomer.

When and where: The deceased is to be guarded at all times, both by day and night, [from the time he passes away until the burial].[217] The deceased is to be guarded even on Shabbos and Yom Tov.[218] The deceased is to be guarded in all areas, even in the morgue and Beis Hatahara [and even while still in the hospital].[219] He is not to be left alone even for a moment.[220] Some Poskim[221], however, are lenient to not require full Shemira when the corpse is in an area that rats cannot enter, such as he is in a fridge or casket, and rather it suffices if the Shomer comes in and out on occasion.

Who may be a Shomer? The deceased must be guarded by a Jewish person. This role may be filled by family members, friends, or by members of the Chevra Kadisha. The family or funeral home can also hire someone to serve as a Shomer. One may alternate the Shomer and have people take turns. Customarily, women are not used as Shomrim for male or even female deceased. However, some communities have women guard a female deceased. In all cases, if a man is not available, a woman may be used.[222] If neither a Jewish man or woman is available, a trustworthy gentile may be used.[223] It is forbidden for a Kohen to be a Shomer even if no one else is available. It is disputed whether a Kohen may be a Shomer for a deceased relative for whom he is mourning.[224] Practically, it is proper to be stringent for a Kohen not to do Shemira on even a close relative.[225]

How many Shomrim: One is only required to have a single Shomer guarding the deceased[226], however some are accustomed to have two Shomrim present in order so they can take turns watching him while the other eats or prays.[227]

Driver: If the body is transported, a Jewish person should either drive, or accompany the driver, so he can act as a Shomer.

B. Conduct of Shomrim during Shemira:

Talking: It is only permitted to speak in the presence of the deceased of matters relating to the funeral/burial or his eulogy.[228] It is however forbidden to talk of mundane matters within four cubits of the deceased [if he is outside, or within the same room if he is inside[229]].[230]

Learning Torah: It is forbidden to speak Torah in the presence of the deceased.[231]  This prohibition applies even past four cubits of the deceased.[232] It is however permitted to speak words of Torah in relation to the deceased and in respect of the deceased even within his four cubits.[233] [One may thus learn Mishnayos in his honor and so is the custom.[234]]

Tehillim: It is permitted, and encouraged, to recite Psalms in honor of the deceased even if one is near him.[235] Tehillim may be read even at night, prior to midnight.[236] Some Poskim[237] rule it is even permitted for the Onen to recite Tehillim on behalf of the deceased while he is in the presence of the deceased and acting as a Shomer. Other Poskim[238] however rule it is forbidden for the Onen to recite Tehillim.

Sheilas Shalom:[239] One does not greet others in the vicinity of the deceased.

Sleeping:[240] A Shomer may not sleep on the job.

Shema, prayer, and Mitzvos:[241] One who is guarding the deceased, is exempt from Shema, prayer, and all the [positive[242]] Mitzvos written in the Torah [just like an Onen] even if he is able to perform them while doing the Shemira.[243] This applies even if the deceased is not his relative. This applies even on Shabbos.[244] [One is not allowed to be stringent and perform the commands.[245]] If there are two people guarding him, then they are to take turns reading the Shema while the other guards. Nevertheless, in all cases [even if there is a second Shomer], it is forbidden to wear Tefillin[246], say Shema, or pray within four cubits of the deceased[247] [if he is outside], or within the same room as the deceased.[248]

Wearing Tzitzis:[249] One may not wear revealed Tzitzis when he is near a corpse, just as is the law by a cemetery, and he is thus required to cover his Tzitzis. This applies for anyone that is within four Amos [192 cm] of a corpse.

Eating and drinking: Some Poskim[250] rule it is permitted for those who are not in Aninus to eat and drink even in the presence of the deceased. Other Poskim[251], however, are stringent to extend this prohibition to all people present, that they may not eat in the same room as the corpse. Practically, one is to be stringent in this matter.[252] [Thus, those who are driving in the hearse with the coffin are to avoid eating and drinking in the car unless a Mechitza is made.[253]]

Q&A

May one desecrate Shabbos/Yom Tov for the sake of guarding a deceased?[254]

No.

 

May a single Shomer guard more than one body?[255]

Yes.

 

Does a Nefel [i.e. still born, or baby who died within thirty days] require Shemira?[256]

A Nefel does not require Shemira if he is in a safe area, protected from rodents and the like, such as in the fridge of the morgue.

 

May a Shomer smoke in the room of the deceased?[257]

No.

 

May a Shomer get paid for his Shemira?[258]

Yes.

 

8. Death on Shabbos [and Yom Kippur]:[259]

Funeral and burial:[260] It is forbidden to bury a body on Shabbos or Yom Kippur even through the help of a gentile. Thus, one who passed away on Shabbos, or on Erev Shabbos without enough time to perform a burial, is to be buried after Shabbos. The same applies regarding Yom Kippur.

Notifying people and relatives of the death on Shabbos?[261]  It is forbidden on Shabbos to speak of matters which brings one pain, such as the death of a close friend, and the like. [Thus, from the letter of the law, one is not to inform friends and relatives of the death of an individual on Shabbos.[262] Nevertheless, some are accustomed to being lenient to notify the relatives of the death even on Shabbos, through a gentile messenger [i.e. gentile makes a phone call to the relatives and leaves a message on the answering machine], in order so they can head out to the funeral immediately after Shabbos.[263] Practically, however, one may only be lenient in a time of great need, as stated above, otherwise it is forbidden to do so both due to the prohibition of Amira Lenachri, and due to the adherence of not to spread bad news, especially on Shabbos.[264] There is no room to be lenient in this even in the event that one’s Rebbe has died and one desires to spread the news to the world.[265]]

Muktzah-Moving the corpse:[266] A corpse is Muktzah on Shabbos and hence may not be moved with exception to the circumstances to be described below.

Moving with irregularity:[267] In all cases, one may move a corpse using an irregularity, such as moving the bed of the corpse using one’s leg and the like.

Directly moving the body-placing on ground:[268] A Jew may never move the body directly even with a permitted item on it, for any purpose other than those mentioned below, even if it is in order so Kohanim can remain in their home, or for the sake of a Mitzvah. [Some communities however are accustomed even on Shabbos to remove the corpses clothing and [place a permitted item on it and then] lay it on the ground in order to prevent corrosion.[269] However, other Poskim[270] rule against doing so, as is the simple implication from Shulchan Aruch.]

Moving the bed:[271] One may move the bed which contains the corpse if one’s intention in doing so is not for the sake of the body [other than by the case of a fire, as will be explained], but is rather for the sake of a permitted matter, such as so the Kohanim can remain in their homes, or in order to use the space of the bed and the like. However, if possible, one is to roll the body from one bed to another, and if not, then one may even move the bed itself. [However, one may never move it into a Karmalis.]

Gentile moving body:[272] It is forbidden to ask a gentile to move the body unless it is done for the sake of a Mitzvah, as is the rule by all cases of Shevus Deshuvus by a Mitzvah.

Moving to save from a fire:[273] To prevent a body from getting burned from in oncoming fire, the following may be done: One may move it by placing a non-Muktzah item on it, or next to it, and then move both the body and the item. If one has no permitted item available, then if one has another bed available, one is to roll the body from bed to bed [through using the bed to role it], until it reaches a place that is safe from the fire. If there is no other bed available, then one may move the entire bed together with the corpse, or move the corpse directly to a safe area. If it is impossible to prevent erosion otherwise, then the body may be moved into a Karmalis together with the permitted item.

Moving to prevent erosion:[274] One may move a body to prevent erosion by placing a non-Muktzah item on it, or next to it, and then move both the body and the item. If one has no permitted item available, then it is forbidden to move it even through rolling it from bed to bed. If it is impossible to prevent erosion otherwise, then the body may be moved into a Karmalis together with the permitted item.

Moving to prevent odor:[275] If the body is giving off a bad odor, and there are people in the area, then if the people have no other house/room to move to, one may move the body even through a Karmalis, together with a permitted item, into another house.

Moving out of respect for the dead:[276] If the body is lying in disgrace in front of other people, and there are people there, then if the people have no other house/room to move to, one may move the body even through a Karmalis, together with a permitted item, into another house.

Moving in order to wash off excrement from it:[277] If the body has become repulsive as a result of the excrement, then one may move it together with a permitted item in order to wash it. 

Washing and spreading ointment over the corpse:[278] It is permitted to spread ointment over a corpse and to wash it down as long as one does not move any of its limbs in the process. [One may place ointments on the body to prevent erosion. Likewise, one may place ice on the body for this purpose.[279]]

Closing the mouth and eyes and straightening limbs:[280] It is forbidden to close the mouth or eyes [or straighten the limbs] of the body, being that it is Muktzah, although one may attach a string to its chin in order to prevent its mouth from opening further. However, those who are accustomed [despite the prohibition] to close the eyes and straighten bent limbs, due to fear of danger, have upon whom to rely and thus should not be protested.

 

Summary:

A corpse is Muktzah on Shabbos and hence may not be moved even with a permitted item on top of it unless one of the following apply:

1.  One moves it in an irregular way [i.e. one’s leg or elbow].

2. Moving with permitted item: One may move a body by placing a non-Muktzah item on it in the following cases:

  • In order to prevent erosion.
  • If it is giving off a bad odor, or is lying in disgrace, and there are people in the area without another area to move to.
  • If the body has become repulsive as a result of the excrement and one desires to move it to be washed. 

3. Moving the bed with the body: One may move the bed which contains the corpse if one’s intention in doing so is not for the sake of the body and one is unable to roll the body from one bed to another.

4. Gentile moving body: It is forbidden to ask a gentile to move the body unless it is done for the sake of a Mitzvah, as is the rule by all cases of Shevus Deshuvus by a Mitzvah.

Undressing and placing on ground: Some communities are accustomed even on Shabbos to remove the corpses clothing and place a permitted item on it and then lay it on the ground in order to prevent corrosion. However, other Poskim rule against doing so, as is the simple implication from Shulchan Aruch.

Closing its mouth and eyes and straightening limbs: It is forbidden to close its mouth or eyes [or straighten its limbs] however, those who are accustomed [despite the prohibition] to do so have upon whom to rely.

 

Undressing the deceased:[281]

It is customary to undress the deceased even on Shabbos, taking care not to directly move his body in the process.

 

Transgressing Shabbos in order to save a body from autopsy:[282]

It is permitted to perform Rabbinical Melacha in order to prevent a body from being desecrated.[283] Nevertheless, regarding Muktzah, one may only move the body with a permitted item, as explained below.

Moving the body:[284] It is permitted to move a body together with its clothes, or if not wearing clothing then with another permitted item that is on it, in order to save it from getting an autopsy. Furthermore, it may even be moved into a Karmalis, although it may only be moved into a Reshus Harabim through a gentile.

Calling on a telephone:[285] It is permitted to call from a phone to help save a corpse from having an autopsy performed. However, if it is possible to have a child or gentile lift the phone off the ringer, then one should do so.

Traveling in a car to a court house: It is permitted for one to have a gentile drive one to a courthouse or the like to help prevent an autopsy.

Signing off an autopsy:[286] It is forbidden for a relative on Shabbos to sign a document expressing opposition to the autopsy.

9. Death on Yom Tov:

*See Chapter 4 Halacha 3B for the full details of this matter!

First day of Yom Tov: It is permitted to bury a person on the first day of Yom Tov through the help of a gentile.[287] It is forbidden, however, for a Jew to perform Biblical Melacha on behalf of the burial.[288]  If one does not plan on burying the body on Yom Tov, it is forbidden for the Jew to transgress any prohibition, even Rabbinical, for the sake of the body, just as is the law on Shabbos.[289] [Thus the Muktzah laws applicable to moving the body follow the same laws explained in the previous Halacha regarding Shabbos.]

Second day of Yom Tov: It is permitted for a Jew to bury a person on Yom Tov Sheiyni and perform even Biblical Melachos on his behalf, just like a weekday.[290] If, however, one does not plan on burying the body on Yom Tov, it is forbidden to perform any Melacha, even Rabbinical, on his behalf, even on Yom Tov Sheiyni.[291] However, regarding Muktzah, some Poskim[292] rule it is permitted to move the body on Yom Tov Sheiyni without restriction even if one does not plan on burying it that day.  Other Poskim[293], however, argue and prohibit its movement due to Muktzah. Practically, it is proper to be stringent to only move the body for a purpose and only if there is a permitted item on the body. However, one does not need to be stringent to follow the moving restrictions brought in the previous Halacha regarding Shabbos, and it is always permitted to move the body for a purpose if there is a permitted item on it.[294]

May one notify the children or other relatives of the death on Yom Tov/Chol Hamoed? See Halacha 6 in Q&A!

_________________________________________________________________________

[1] See Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 339 p. 450 that when the author [who is a doctor] asked Rav S”Z Aurbach as to the exact Halachic definition of a Goses, he replied “You’re the doctor”

[2] Rav Elyashiv stated that one who can live for several months is a Safek Goses, Safek alive. [Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 339 p. 469] Rav S”Z Aurbauch stated that  a brain dead patient is a Safek Goses, Safek dead. [Nishmas Avraham Y.D. 339 p. 467, 473, 477]

[3] Michaber 339:1; Miseches Semachos 1; See Gesher Hachaim 2

[4] Michaber E.H. 121:7 regarding Get; Shach 339:1; Ran

[5] If the Goses can’t speak: Some Poskim rule [Semag; Semak; Mordechai] if a Goses can no longer talk, he is unable to give a Get. Practically, one is to be stringent like their opinion. [Rama E.H. 121:7, brought in Gilyon Maharsha 339] The reason for this is because he is considered like he is already dead if he has reached the point that he can no longer speak. [Beis Shmuel 121:10]

[6] Michaber and Rama 339:2; Tur 339; Maharam Merothenberg; Rosh; Mordechai; See Shvus Yaakov 2:114 and Mishkanos Yaakov 69, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 375:3

[7] Does the above law apply also to remarrying an Eishes Ish? If a husband is a Goses, we do not allow the wife to remarry until his passing is verified, even if three days have passed. [Beis Meir; Digul Merivava E.H. 17; Beis Lechem Yehuda 339; Pischeiy Teshuvah Y.D. 339:3 and E.H. 17:131; Mishkanos Yaakov 69 in name of Rav Chaim Velozhin] Some Poskim however rule we even allow the wife to remarry after three days. [Beis Shmuel E.H. 17:48 and 94; Gilyon Maharsha 339] The Poskim ibid vehemently negate this opinion. Some of the stringent Poskim ibid rule that based on this, the wife is not to mourn, as this may lead her to remarry. Others however rule the wife may mourn. [See Beis Lechem Yehuda 339; Pischeiy Teshuvah E.H. ibid; See Rav Akiva Eiger ibid] See Chapter 12 Halacha 11!

[8] Shach 338:8

[9] Implication of Rama 339:1 who writes there is no need to do things to delay his death; Beis Yaakov 59, brought in Gilyon Maharsha Y.D. 339, based on Shach 339:1 who quotes Ran, and no mention is made that one can desecrate Shabbos on his behalf. [He bases his ruling on the fact all the Poskim omit the ruling of Tosfos brought in next footnote, thus implying one cannot desecrate Shabbos on his behalf.]

[10] The reason: As one may not delay the death of a Goses, as explained in D, and lengthen his suffering. Certainly, then, one may not desecrate Shabbos on his behalf. [Beis Yaakov ibid] Now, although Admur, Michaber and Yuma, brought in next footnote all rule that one desecrates Shabbos for one with a crushed skull even though he will only live momentarily, the Beis Yaakov ibid explains that one with a crushed skull due to a Mapoles is not considered a Goses. Vetzaruch Iyun as to why.

[11] Implication of Admur 329:3, Michaber 329:4, Yuma Mishneh 83a regarding saving one whose skull was crushed in a Mapoles for the sake of living momentarily [however, see previous footnote]; Tosfos Nidda 44b; Shvus Yaakov 3:13, brought in Gilyon Maharsha Y.D. 339; Chasam Sofer 338; Minchas Chinuch 32 Mileches Hotza; Biur Halacha 329:4 “Ela”; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 1:861; Piskeiy Teshuvos 329:6; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 2:4 footnote 5 [Now, although we rule that one may remove matters which are delaying the death from the Goses, perhaps this is not obligatory, as explained next]

[12] Teshuvos Vehanhagos ibid; Minchas Shlomo 1:91-24; Shevet Halevi 8:86; Divrei Moshe 1:95; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 30

[13] See Beis Yaakov ibid; Igros Moshe Y.D. 3:132; Tzitz Eliezer 13:89

[14] Michaber 339:1

[15] Rama ibid

[16] Rivash 114

[17] The reason: In order so the Mazal of the sick person does not worsen. [Birkeiy Yosef 547:3; Yosef Ometz 92, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 547:15]

[18] Bach 339, bought in Shach 339:6; Mishneh Limelech Avel 4:5; Beir Heiytiv 339:3; Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:2

[19] Bach and Shach ibid

[20] Dudaeiy Sadeh 18; Nitei Gavriel 75:11

[21] Birkeiy Yosef 547:3; Yosef Ometz 92, brought in Shaar Hatziyon 547:15; Maharsham 4:150; Dudaeiy Sadeh 18

[22] Rama ibid; Rabbeinu Yerucham in name of Rebbe Yehuda Hachassid; Tzavah of Rebbe Yehuda Hachassid 2, that if one does so, in a short while, one of the city residents will die.

[23] Shach 339:6

[24] See Gesher Hachaim 27:7 “The custom is for those who purchase a grave in their lifetime, to dig it and then cover it with a board, thus already forming the Ohel”

[25] Beir Hagoleh 339; Ramban in Toras Hadam

[26] Michaber and Rama 339:1; See Tzitz Eliezer 13:89 for a lengthy discussion on this subject!

[27] Michaber ibid; Mishneh Shabbos 151b

[28] Shach 339:5; Rif; Rambam; Miseches Semachos

The reason: As a Goses is like a withering candle which extinguishes as soon as it is touched. [ibid]

[29] Shvus Yaakov 3:75, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:1; Gilyon Maharsha 339; Tzitz Eliezer 8:15; Nitei Gavriel 2:5

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is not to give any medical treatment to the Goses which will lengthen his death. [Beis Yaakov 59, brought in Gilyon Maharsha ibid]

[30] Sefer Chassidim 723, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 339; Beis Lechem Yehuda 339

[31] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 2:2 footnote 3

[32] Sefer Chassidim 234 and Leket Yosher 2:37 regarding a drink; Nitei Gavriel 2:6 footnote 7

[33] Chochmas Adam Matzeivas Moshe 2; Nitei Gavriel 2:12

[34] Michaber 339:1

[35] The reason: These matters are normally done after death to a corpse and the novelty hence is that one may not do so to a Goses. [See Shach 339:2-4]

[36] The reason: A corpse normally is not to be placed near anything warm, as it hastens deterioration. The novelty here is that one may not remove the pillow, as he is still alive. [Shach 339:4]

[37] The reason: This is forbidden to be done due to the prohibition against moving a Goses. [Shach ibid]

[38] See Tzitz Eliezer 13:89 for a lengthy discussion on this subject!

[39] Rama 339:1; Michaber ibid regarding closing the eyes; Shach 339:1; Taz 339:1-2; Chochmas Adam 151:14; Kitzur SHU”A 194:1

[40] Aruch Hashulchan 339:1; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 2:2 footnote 2

[41] Removing the pillow may hasten death as some say that certain bird feathers cause death to be delayed. [Rama ibid] The reason it is forbidden to remove it is not because of the feathers that delay his death but because of the movement that is caused when the pillow is removed, which hastens death. [Shach 339:7 in answer of Levush 339 who questions Rama why this is not permitted under the premises of “removing the impediment.”; Derisha; Bach 339; See Tzitz Eliezer ibid]

[42] Taz 339:2

[43] Rama 339:1; Taz 339:2; Shiltei Giborim Moed Katan

[44] Rama ibid; Shach in Nekudos Hakesef 339 that removing salt is a minor movement that does not proximate death; Beis Lechem Yehuda 339; Aruch Hashulchan 339:4

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is forbidden to remove the salt from his mouth as doing so causes movement which hastens death. [Taz ibid] See Shach and Beis Lechem Yehuda who answer this question

[45] Beis Yaakov 59; Tzitz Eliezer 13:89

[46] Shvus Yaakov 3:75, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:1; Divrei Shaul 339

[47] See Shvus Yaakov 3:75, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:1; Divrei Shaul 339; Gilyon Maharsha 339

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one is not to give any medical treatment to the Goses which will lengthen his death. [Beis Yaakov 59, brought in Gilyon Maharsha ibid]

[48] Implication of Admur 329:3, Michaber 329:4, Yuma Mishneh 83a regarding saving one whose skull was crushed in a Mapoles for the sake of living momentarily; Poskim in previous footnote; Mavor Yabok Mamar Sifsei Tzedek 26; Nitei Gavriel 2:3; See Admur 329:3; Michaber 329:4; Yuma 85a

[49] Nitei Gavriel 2:3

[50] Beis Yaakov 59, brought in Gilyon Maharsha ibid

[51] See Michaber 370:1; Nitei Gavriel 130:7

[52] Michaber ibid

[53] Michaber ibid; Tur; Rosh; Hagahos Ashri; Meiri Moed Katan 43

[54] The reason: As although he does not give off impurity, he does desecrate the Kohen. [Shach 370:3] As the Kohen is commanded to prevent himself from entering himself into a situation where a person may die and make him become desecrated. [Aruch Hashulchan 370:2]

[55] Rama 370:1; Ran end of Moed Katan; Mordechai in name of Bahag; Bach in name of Ran, brought in Shach 339:1

[56] Rama ibid “It is good to be stringent”; Bach 370 “One must be stringent from the letter of the law”; Shach 339:1 plainly rules it is forbidden and in 370:4 he records the ruling of Bach ibid; Levush 370:1; Kitzur SHU”A 202:1; Aruch Hashulchan 370:2 that so rule most Poskim and so is custom

[57] Shach 370:4

[58] Sefer Chassidim 744; See Chochmas Adam 154:5; Darkei Hachaim 19:2

[59] Nitei Gavriel 16:24 based on Sefer Chassidim ibid and Chochmas Adam 154:5

[60] Sefer Chassidim 448; Chochmas Adam 151:16; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 3:2 footnote 2

[61] Beis Lechem Yehuda 339

[62] See Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 7; Darkei Chesed p. 259; Nitei Gavriel 3:14 footnote 24

[63] Nitei Gavriel 3:15 footnote 25

[64] It is a tradition to recite Ana Bekoach as one reaches the final moments of his life. Many Jews during the times of the Holocaust recited this as their last prayer prior to being killed. [Darkei Chesed ibid]

[65] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 25; Nitei Gavriel 3:15 footnote 25

[66] Tanya Igeres Hakodesh 28

[67] Michaber 339:4; Kol Bo

[68] The reason: As when the soul departs from the body it is in a state of bewilderment and needs comfort of people in the room. [Taz 339:4; Kol Bo ibid, brought in Beir Hagoleh; Beis Lechem Yehuda 339]

[69] Literally “Lamod/To stand over”

[70] Rama ibid; Shiltei Giborim

The reason: As the verse [Tehillim 49:10-11] states “Vayechi Od Lanetzach Lo Yireh Hashachas. Ki Yireh Chachamim Yamusu.” [Rama ibid]

[71] Sefer Chassidim 742, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 339:4

[72] Nitei Gavriel 3:4 in name of Poskim

[73] See Halacha 1F!

[74] Nitei Gavriel 3:6 in name of Poskim

[75] Nitei Gavriel 3:9

[76] Nitei Gavriel 3:10

[77] Sefer Chassidim 448; Chochmas Adam 151:16 and 19; Kitzur SHU”A 194:4; Aruch Hashulchan 339:8; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 3:2 and 7 footnote 2 and 9

[78] Chochmas Adam and Kitzur SHU”A ibid

[79] Nitei Gavriel 3:11

[80] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 25; Nitei Gavriel 3:15 footnote 25

[81] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Renanos 6; Nitei Gavriel 3:7

[82] Beis Hillel 339; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 3 footnote 19 and 3:16

[83] Sefer Chassidim 234, brought in Beis Lechem Yehuda 339

[84] The reason: As doing so can cause the soul to return to the body and suffer extra anguish. On this the verse in Koheles states “Es Lamaves/there is a time of death”, meaning to say that when a person reaches his time of death one should not try to elongate it, as even if he lives an extra few days, it will be a life of suffering. [Sefer Chassidim ibid]

[85] Kitzur SHU”A 194:4; Mavor Yabok Mamar Sefas Emes 15; Rebbe Rashab in Toras Shalom p. 206 regarding a Tzadik; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 3:12 footnote 17

[86] The reason: This is done in order to chase away any evil forces and out of respect of the Shechina who is found by the departing soul. [Mavor Yabok ibid] Likewise, a Tzadik attracts souls of Tzadikim in Gan Eden at the time of his death, who come down to escort him, and hence the candles are lit in their honor. [Rebbe Rashab ibid]

[87] See Nitei Gavriel 3:12 footnote 19 for those accustomed to light candles only after death

[88] See Nitei Gavriel 3:13; See there for a dispute if this should be done on Shabbos

[89] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 26; Gesher Hachaim

The reason: This is done in order to give an opening for the soul to leave and allow evil forces to leave the room. [ibid]

[90] Kitzur SHU”A 194:5; Chochmas Adam 3; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 21

[91] Michaber 339:1; Mishneh Shabbos 151b

The reason: As perhaps he has just fainted and appears dead, and moving him will bring him to actual death. [Shach 339:5 in name of Rambam]

[92] Shach 339:5; Rif; Rambam; Miseches Semachos

The reason: As a Goses is like a withering candle which extinguishes as soon as it is touched. [ibid]

[93] Shach ibid

[94] Darkei Chesed p. 31; See Nitei Gavriel 6:3 footnote 6 for customs to wait a) 30 minutes [Jerusalem custom]; b) 20 minutes [Gesher Hachaim]; c) 15 minutes; d) Five minutes

[95] Chochmas Adam 151:18; Kitzur SHU”A 194:5; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 4:2 footnote 2

[96] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[97] Taz 339:4 in name of Rikanti Parshas Vayechi; Chochmas Adam 151:19; Kitzur 194:3; This was seen by Yaakov Avinu who gathered his feet by his bed.

[98] Nitei Gavriel 2:10-11

[99] See Gesher Hachaim 3

[100] Darkei Chesed p. 31

[101] This is based on the fact that for the most part, today we no longer bury on Yom Tov. See Chapter 4 Halacha 3B!

[102] The Seder done to the Niftar can be found in the following Sefarim: Mavor Yabok; Gesher Hachaim; Nitei Gavriel chapter 5; Darkei Chesed chapter 5; Ishkavta Derebbe for a description of the Seder performed to the Rebbe Rashab after he passed away

[103] See Nitei Gavriel 4:15; 44:10

[104] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Renanos 9; See Darkei Chesed p. 31; Nitei Gavriel 4:2 footnote 3-4

[105] Darkei Chesed p. 31; See there and Nitei Gavriel ibid that covering the face is the first thing that is done, prior to closing the eyes or mouth.

[106] The reason: This is done because a) It prevents the evil forces from looking at his face; b) It is forbidden to look at the face of a corpse.

[107] Horiyos 13b; Maharil Semachos; Darkei Chesed ibid

[108] Michaber 352:4; See also 339:1; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry; See Admur 311:13; See Nitei Gavriel 6:1

[109] Darkei Chesed p. 31

[110] The reason: These matters are normally done to a corpse after death and the novelty hence is that one may not do so to a Goses. [See Shach 339:2-4]

[111] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 9; Birkeiy Yosef 352:3; Chochmas Adam 157:9; Kitzur SHU”A 194:7; Nitei Gavriel 6:1 footnote 2

[112] Nitei Gavriel 130:19

[113] Darkei Chesed p. 216; See Nitei Gavriel 6:1 footnote 3

[114] Darkei Chesed and Nitei Gavriel ibid and 49:20

[115] Michaber 352:4; See also 339:1; Tur 352 in name of Ramban that so is custom of all Jewry; See Admur 311:13; See Nitei Gavriel 6:1

[116] See Admur 311:13; See Darkei Chesed p. 32; Nitei Gavriel 6:3-4

[117] Nitei Gavriel 5:1; See Kitzur SHU”A 194:8 that he is to be covered and modest

[118] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 3; See Michaber 339:1; See Darkei Chesed p. 32 and Nitei Gavriel 5:2 that in the Diaspora a white sheet is placed on the floor and he is placed on the sheet, while in Eretz Yisrael he is placed directly on the floor.

[119] All the above from Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 5:1 footnote 4; Feet facing the door: So is written in many Sifrei Minhagim ibid; Darkei Chesed p. 32 that so was done to the Rebbe Rashab; Gesher Hachaim p. 20; See Chapter 5 Halacha 10 regarding Taharah that he is to face the opening as rules Tzavas Rav Yehuda Hachassid 6; Beis Lechem Yehuda 362; Kneses Hagedola Y.D. 362; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:6; Aruch Hashulchan 362:8; Darkei Chesed 12:15; Pnei Baruch 4:13; Nitei Gavriel 45:12

[120] Shach 339:4

[121] Sefarim in Nitei Gavriel 5:3 footnotes 7-8

[122] Mavor Yabok; Darkei Chesed ibid; Nitei Gavriel 5:5 footnote 10

[123] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 5:15 footnote 26

[124] Darkei Chesed p. 32; Nitei Gavriel 5:6

[125] See Nitei Gavriel 3:13

[126] Darkei Chesed p. 33

[127] Taz 341:1

[128] Rav Akiva Eiger 341, Tefila Lemoshe and Pischeiy Teshuvah 341:2 in explanation of Shach 341:3 who prohibits even on Shabbos, thus negating the reason of the Taz that exempts non-relatives

[129] Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid concludes one is to be stringent like the Shach; Kitzur SHU”A 194:11; Pnei Baruch 1:7

[130] Michaber 344:16 [however, see there that he limits this prohibition only to Divrei Torah]; Brachos 3b; Taz 344:5 “Speaking in the presence of the deceased is only permitted out of respect for him, however speech that is not said out of respect for the deceased is certainly forbidden.”

[131] Shach 344:11 in name of Bach

Other opinions: It is implied from Michaber ibid that it is permitted to speak mundane matters in his presence, even within four cubits, and the above prohibition is only regarding speaking words of Torah. [Shach ibid]

[132] Shach 344:11 in name of Bach

[133] Shach 344:11 in name of Mordechai end of Moed Katan; See Taz 344:5; Beir Hagoleh in name of Mordechai; Beir Heiytiv 344:8; Elya Raba 1:4; M”B 45:2 in name of Ateres Zekeinim; This opinion is omitted from Admur 45; See Shvus Yaakov 3:8 in name of Rashba, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 1:2 that the custom is not to be careful against walking four Amos being people consider the entire house as four Amos.

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even in a single room the prohibition only applies within four Amos of the body. [M”B ibid in name of Magen Giborim]

[134] Michaber 344:16

The reason: This is forbidden due to Loeg Larash. [Shach 344:12]

[135] Shach 344:11 in implication of Michaber ibid; Bach 344; Taz 344:5; Tur in name of Rav Haiy Gaon

[136] Michaber 344:16-17; Nimukei Yosef; Shach ibid in name of Bach and that so is custom

[137] Mishmeres Shalom Lamed 42 in name of Poskim; Nitei Gavriel 10:8 footnote 15; See Poskim in next footnote 

[138] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 4:9; Nitei Gavriel 10:8; See Mishmeres Shalom Lamed 42 in name of Poskim; Radbaz Chadashos 254; Birkeiy Yosef 344:7 “So is the custom amongst all Israel to say a Derush in front of the deceased and before the Kever and learn Torah there in his merit”; Zechor Leavraham Lamed; Misgeres Hashulchan 344; Sdei Chemed 115; Kaf Hachaim 23:1 “If one learns by the Kever in honor of the deceased, there is no prohibition of “Loeg Larash,” as he is doing so for his honor.”; Minchas Elazar 3:53 that we Daven by Kivrei Tzaddikim in their honor and to elevate their soul and receive their assistance in elevating our prayers to Heaven; See Pesach Hadvir 45:4; Gesher Hachaim 29:10; Nitei Gavriel 10:8 footnote 15; Vol. 2 76:8

[139] Nitei Gavriel 21:5 in name of Rav Chaim Falagi

[140] See Chochmas Adam 153:1; Mordechai in name of Ravaya; Pnei Baruch Onen 11; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 21:3 footnote 3

[141] Aruch Hashulchan 341:10

[142] See Michaber and Rama 343:2

[143] Beis Lechem Yehuda 3243; See Rama 385:1

The reason: As the greetings of today are not considered like the greetings of back then. [Beis Lechem Yehuda; See Rama ibid] This is not a justifiable reason, as according to this reason one should be able to greet the mourners even within Shloshim, and we have not found any Posek who is lenient in this matter. [Shach 385:2; See also M”A 554:21; Rav Akiva Eiger 385:1] Some Poskim however justify this custom based on the fact that majority of today’s greetings do not involve saying the word Shalom but rather simply good morning and the like, and these greetings are not prohibited under Sheilas Shalom. [Beir Heiytiv 385:2 and Gilyon Maharsha ibid based on Admur 89:3 and Beis Yosef in name of Riy; Likewise, the Darkei Moshe 89 states that it is only considered Shalom if one mentions Hashem’s name] This allowance however only applies after the Shloshim. [See Elya Raba O.C. 554:20; See Q&A!]

[144] Beis Lechem Yehuda ibid in name of M”A 554:21; See previous footnote

[145] Elya Raba O.C. 554:20; See Beir Heiytiv 385:2 in previous footnote!

[146] Admur 23:4; Michaber 23:3

[147] Michaber 339:3; Shach 340:3; Ramban in Toras Hadam that so is custom; Kol Bo; Achronim brought in Nitei Gavriel 57:5; See Beir Heiytiv 340:2 that this matter is dependent on custom in whether one recites Tziduk Hadin at the time of the passing.

[148] Including women. [Shem Mishimon 26]

[149] The reason: The reason for this is because every Jew is a like a Sefer Torah, and one who sees a Sefer Torah being torn must perform Keriah. [Moed Katan ibid; See Taz 340:2 for dispute in Rishonim for explanation of this reason]

Child who passed away: See Shach 340:7 in name of Bach [required] and Rashal and Taz 340:2 [not required]. See Beir Heiytiv 340:5 in name of Radbaz 508 that one tears for a Katan but not for a Ketana.

Passed away on Shabbos: See dispute mentioned in Pischeiy Teshuvah 340:3

[150] Rishonim and Poskim brought in Nitei Gavriel 57:3-4 footnote 6-7; Darkei Chesed 14:4; Pnei Baruch 1:4; Beir Moshe 2:117; Chabad custom and custom and ruling of Rebbe, brought in Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 6

The reason: See Gesher Hachaim 4 footnote 1, Darkei Chesed ibid, Pnei Baruch footnote 26, Nitei Gavriel 57 footnote 5 for various reasons for why we delay the Keriah from the time of death until the time of the funeral

Burying the corpse overseas: See Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 6 that the Rebbe ruled that one who is traveling with the corpse to Eretz Yisrael for the burial is nevertheless to perform Keriah prior to the corpse leaving his home in the Diaspora.

Other customs: See Nitei Gavriel ibid footnote 7 that some Rishonim rule the Keriah is to be done at the time of the burial. Pnei Baruch ibid that some Sephardim are accustomed to performing the Keriah after the burial.

[151] Michaber 339:3; Ramban in Toras Hadam that so is custom; See Nitei Gavriel 4:10 footnote 22

[152] Nitei Gavriel ibid

[153] Darkei Chesed p. 220; However, see Nitei Gavriel ibid

[154] Rama 401:6

[155] Kama 4:18; Ketzos Hashulchan 2:11; also brought in Chayeh Adam 2:5; Kitzur SH”A 2:9

[156] The Peri Megadim 4 A”A 21 writes on the M”A 4:20 that one must be within four Amos of the corpse to require washing. It is however unclear as to whether the P”M refers even to a case that one is within the same room as the corpse. Practically many write that one is to wash his hands when being in the same room as a corps even if one is not within 4 Amos. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 4:25; Nitei Gavriel 70:1]

[157] Nitei Gavriel 132:40

[158] Sefer Chassidim 236 and Tzavah 33, brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid; Beis Lechem Yehuda 339; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:7; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 4:17 footnote 34

The reason: Doing so is a great danger. [Kitzur SHU”A ibid]

[159] Nitei Gavriel 135:4

[160] Shaareiy Teshuvah 394:1

[161] The reason: As it says regarding Yaakov that they cried on him and kissed him. [ibid]

[162] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 4:17 footnote 34

[163] Sefer Chassidim 236; Chochmas Adam 157:8; Kitzur SHU”A 197:7; Nitei Gavriel 4:18

[164] Darkei Chesed p. 32; See Reshimos 5 [printed in Toras Menachem Tziyon p. 26] that the Rebbe Rayatz instructed for his mother’s face to be exposed for a few moment

[165] Horiyos 13b; Maharil Semachos; Darkei Chesed ibid

[166] Nitei Gavriel 135:5

[167] Dvar Yehoshua 2:35; Nitei Gavriel 42:8

[168] Rama 403:10

[169] Michaber 339:5; Admur O.C. 455:15; Kol Bo; Mordechai Remez 593; See Gesher Hachaim 3

[170] The reason: Several reasons are given behind this custom: a) There is danger involved if one does not spill the water. [Admur ibid] as the angel of death places a drop of poisonous blood in the water. [Taz 339:4-only reason; 2nd reason in Shach 339:9; Tashbatz 444] The Tashbatz writes that a person once drank this water and died shortly afterwards. [Shach ibid; See Beir Heiytiv 339:5 for full story] b) This is done to publicize that there is a death and prevent the need of verbally informing people, as one who informs another of a death is considered to be “spreading evil tongue.” [1st reason in Shach ibid; Maharil] See Mavor Yabok Sefas Emes 23; Damesek Eliezer 49

[171] Birkeiy Yosef 339:8, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:4, Rav Akiva Eiger 339; Yad Avraham 339; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:7-8 footnote 11 and 15

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is not necessary to spill the water. [See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:7-8 footnote 12 and 16]

[172] Shemesh Tzedaka Y.D. 36; Tosfos Shabbos 211:1 in name of, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 339; Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:4

The reason: As we do not publicize a death on Shabbos, as well as that the angel of death does not enter his sword in the water on Shabbos. [ibid]

[173] P”M 455 M”Z 3; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:6 footnote 9

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule it is not necessary to spill the water on Yom Tov. [See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:6 footnote 9-10]

[174] Chamudei Daniel, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:5

[175] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:3 footnote 4

[176] See M”A 455:9; Darkei Moshe 455:7; Beis David 181; Nitei Gavriel 8:16

[177] See Nachamu Ami p. 17

[178] Admur 455:16 omits ruling of Darkei Moshe and M”A ibid regarding covered, and even in the case of placing metal Admur explicitly writes it regarding the Tekufa; Likewise, see Admur in Shemiras Hanefesh Vehaguf Halacha 7 regarding food under the bed that it is problematic even if covered.

[179] Taz 339:4 based on Tosfos Kesubos

[180] Chamudei Daniel, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:6

[181] In an apartment building, this would include up to two floors above and below the apartment of the deceased. [See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:12 footnote 24

[182] Gilyon Maharsha 339; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:11 footnote 23

[183] Nekudos Hakesef 339; Beir Heiytiv 339:5

[184] See Nitei Gavriel 8:2

[185] Nitei Gavriel 8:13 in name of Tuv Tam Vadas 1:102 and other Poskim

[186] Admur 455:15; Rama 455:1; Shach 339:9; Mordechai ibid; Rokeiach 275

[187] The reason: As the verse [Koheles 8:5] states “One who guards a Mitzvah will know no evil” [Admur ibid]

[188] Adnei Paz 26, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:4; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:20

[189] Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:4; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:20

[190] Teshuvas Beis Yehuda Y.D. 1:46, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 339; Birkeiy Yosef 339; Beis David 161; Pischeiy Teshuvah 339:4; Gilyon Maharsha 339; Yad Avraham 339; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:19 footnote 33

[191] Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid

[192] Aruch Hashulchan 339:9; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:19 footnote 34

[193] M”A 206:8 in name of Sefer Chassidim; Kneses Hagedola O.C. 204, brought in Rav Akiva Eiger 339; Ely Raba 202:1; M”B 206:26

[194] Nitei Gavriel 8:7; 135:7

[195] Michaber 402:12; Based on story of Rebbe Chiya in Moed Katan, brought in Taz 402:8

[196] Gilyon Maharsha 402

[197] Michaber ibid

[198] Sefer Chassidim 800; Maharash Halevi Y.D. 27; Gilyon Maharsha 402; Chiddushei Hagirshuni

[199] See Sefer Chassidim 802; Mavor Yabok Sifsei Tzedek 5; Nitei Gavriel 128:1

[200] Rama 402:12; Maryu 13; See Nitei Gavriel 128:5

Chol Hamoed and Purim: Some Poskim rule that if the death occurred on Chol Hamoed, it is forbidden to notify even the sons, as this will prevent them from fulfilling the Biblical command of Simchas Yom Tov. [Panim Meiros 2:191; Pischeiy Teshuvah 402:2; Birkeiy Yosef 402] The same applies with Purim. [ibid]

[201] See Sefer Chassidim 802; Mishnas Yaakov 3:402; Nitei Gavriel 128:9

[202] Michaber ibid

The reason: As the verse states “Midvar Sheker Tirchak. [Michaber ibid]

[203] Taz Y.D. 402:8

[204] Nitei Gavriel 65:22 footnote 28; See Shut Rav Ezriel Hildsheimer 263

[205] Admur 307:5; M”A 307; Sefer Chassidim 110

[206] See Nitei Gavriel 128:10

[207] See Mishnas Yaakov 3:402; Nitei Gavriel 128:13; See Reshimos 5 [printed in Toras Menachem Tziyon p. 25] that when the Rebbe Rayatz was in Chicago, they were informed of the death of his mother by telephone, on Shabbos, but the Rebbe Rayatz was only told about it on Motzei Shabbos.

[208] Nitei Gavriel 128:16

[209] Nitei Gavriel ibid protests against those who do so

[210] Sefer Chassidim 801; Panim Meiros 2:191; Pischeiy Teshuvah 402:2; Birkeiy Yosef 402; Nitei Gavriel 119:17; 128:10 [see there regarding Shabbos, Purim]

[211] Panim Meiros 2:191; Yosef Daas 402; Nitei Gavriel 128:12

[212] Panim Meiros 1:100; Moed Lekol Chai 31:34; Maharash Engel 6:10; Kaf Hachaim 696:49; Michaber Yoreh Deah 402:12; Nitei Gavriel 128:11; Although the Rama ibid rules to tell the sons in order so they can say Kaddish, nevertheless regarding Purim which contains a dispute if Aveilus applies the above Poskim rule one is to follow the Michaber.

[213] See Gilyon Maharsha 402 that seemingly this applies even prior to the burial. Vetzaruch Iyun. However certainly if there is no one that is taking care of the burial it is an obligation to tell the son in order so he begin to deal with it.

[214] Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 4 “It is a great obligation to do so”; Guarding the deceased is not explicitly mentioned as a Mitzvah/obligation neither in Mishneh, Gemara or Poskim. Rather it is derived from different laws mentioned in Gemara and Poskim regarding one who guards the deceased: See Admur 71:4 and Michaber O.C. 71:3; Y.D. 341:6 and 403:9 and Braisa Brachos 18a regarding exemption from Mitzvos and Kerias Shema; Rama 373:5 regarding a Kohen that according to some Poskim he may guard his deceased relative on Shabbos “so he is not left in a belittled state”

The reason: The deceased needs to be guarded from rats. [Brachos 18a; Perisha 71; Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 4] He also needs to be guarded from all others damages such as a fire and the like. [See Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:225; Nitei Gavriel 8:1] He also needs to be guarded from evil spirits and forces, as the Jewish body is holy and when the evil forces sees it emptied of a soul they desire to enter it and attain a body for themselves. [Mavor Yabok Sisei Rinanos 24; Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 4; Darkei Chesed 8:1] The deceased is guarded in order so it not be left in a disgraceful manner. [Rama ibid; Terumas Hadeshen 283] It is considered respect for the dead to guard the deceased so it not seem like he was discarded as a vessel that has no need. [Yerushalmi]

Who is obligated? Regarding if the obligation of guarding the deceased is upon the relatives in mourning or upon anyone-see Nitei Gavriel 9 footnote 2.

[215] One must say this is a Biblical command, otherwise how can he be exempt from other Biblical commands.

[216] Admur ibid; Shach 341:180; Beis Yosef and Perisha 71; Ran Sukkah 11a

What Mitzvah is fulfilled by guarding the body? Tzaruch Iyun as what Biblical Mitzvah is fulfilled when one guards the deceased. Perhaps however it is all part of the Mitzvah of burial, or Kavod Hameis. However, see Rama ibid and Shach 374:10 who learns guarding the corpse is not part of the Mitzvah of burial and is not considered “Letzorech”. Vetzaruch Iyun! Either way, it is similar to the law of an Onen who has a Mitzvah to bury the dead and is hence exempt from all Mitzvos.

[217] Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 4

[218] Rama 374:5; Sdei Chemed Aveilus 112; Darkei Chesed 8:1

[219] Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 4; Nitei Gavriel 8:3; Rav Yaakov Ruza, Chief Rabbi of Chevra Kadisha Tel Aviv, in a written correspondence related that per his directive, the Chevra Kadisha of Tel Aviv is careful to guard the Meis even when in the fridge, throughout all 24 hours.

[220] Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:225

[221] Igros Moshe ibid; See there in length for his proof from Brachos ibid regarding a ship that even when there is no worry of rats there still must be sporadic checking; See Yalkut Yosef Aveilus 8:207 who writes according to Halacha he does not need to be guarded at all when he is in a fridge or casket; See Nitei Gavriel 8:3 footnote 5 who argues on Igros Moshe ibid and says a constant Shomer is required, and so is implied from Matzeivas Moshe ibid, and this especially applies when the deceased is in a morgue with gentiles; See above for directive of Rav Yaakov Ruza

[222] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 8:6-7 footnotes 9-11

[223] Nitei Gavriel 8:8

[224] Michaber 373:5 brings two opinions in whether the Kohen may be Mitameh even “for no need” or only for a need and Rama ibid explains that accoridng to the former approach, he may be a Shomer, while according to the latter approach he may not. See Chapter 9 Halacha 4!

[225] Rama ibid Terumos Hadeshen 383 in name of Tosfos Shantz; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 10:14 footnote 23

[226] See Admur 71:4 and Michaber O.C. 71:3; Y.D. 341:6; Braisa Brachos 18a

[227] Kaf Hachaim 71:24

[228] Michaber 344:16; Brachos 3b

[229] Shach 344:11 in name of Mordechai end of Moed Katan; Beir Hagoleh in name of Mordechai; Beir Heiytiv 344:8; Elya Raba 1:4; M”B 45:2 in name of Ateres Zekeinim; This opinion is omitted from Admur ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even in a single room. [M”B ibid in name of Magen Giborim]

[230] Shach 344:11 in name of Bach

Other opinions: It is implied from Michaber ibid that it is permitted to speak mundane matters in his presence, even within four cubits. [Shach ibid]

[231] Michaber 344:16

[232] Shach 344:11 in implication of Michaber ibid; Bach 344; Taz 344:5; Tur in name of Rav Haiy Gaon

[233] Michaber 344:17; 367:3; Nimukei Yosef; Shach ibid in name of Bach and that so is custom

[234] Mishmeres Shalom Lamed 42 in name of Poskim; See Poskim in next footnote

[235] Mavor Yabok Sifsei Rinanos 4:9; Nitei Gavriel 10:8; See Mishmeres Shalom Lamed 42 in name of Poskim; See Radbaz Chadashos 254; Birkeiy Yosef 344:7 “So is the custom amongst all Israel to say a Derush in front of the deceased and before the Kever and learn Torah there in his merit”; Zechor Leavraham Lamed; Misgeres Hashulchan 344; Sdei Chemed 115; Kaf Hachaim 23:1 “If one learns by the Kever in honor of the deceased, there is no prohibition of “Loeg Larash,” as he is doing so for his honor.”; Minchas Elazar 3:53 that we Daven by Kivrei Tzaddikim in their honor and to elevate their soul and receive their assistance in elevating our prayers to Heaven; See Pesach Hadvir 45:4; Gesher Hachaim 29:10; Nitei Gavriel 10:8 footnote 15; Vol. 2 76:8

[236] Nitei Gavriel 21:5 in name of Rav Chaim Falagi

[237] See Chochmas Adam 153:1; Mordechai in name of Ravaya; Pnei Baruch Onen 11; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 21:3 footnote 3

[238] Aruch Hashulchan 341:10

[239] See Michaber and Rama 343:2

[240] Chochmas Adam in Matzeivas Moshe 4

[241] Admur 71:4; Michaber O.C. 71:3; Y.D. 341:6; 403:9; Braisa Brachos 18a

[242] See regarding Onen chapter 3 Halacha 8A that he is obligated in all negative commands.

[243] The reason: As one who guards the deceased is involved in a Mitzvah, and anyone who is involved in one Mitzvah the Torah did not require them to be involved in other Mitzvos even if he is able to do so, as explained in 38:7. [Admur ibid; Shach 341:18; Beis Yosef and Perisha 71; Ran Sukkah 11a]

[244] Michaber 403:9

[245] Beis Hillel 403

[246] See Admur 45:1

[247] See Michaber 344:16

[248] Shach 344:11 in name of Mordechai; Beir Heiytiv 344:8; Elya Raba 1:4; M”B 45:2 in name of Ateres Zekeinim; This opinion is omitted from Admur ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that even in a single room, it is permitted to wear the Tefillin and Daven from a distance of four Amos from the deceased. [M”B ibid in name of Magen Giborim]

[249] Admur 23:4; Michaber 23:3

[250] Taz 341:1; See Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 10:3 footnote 6

[251] Rav Akiva Eiger 341, Tefila Lemoshe and Pischeiy Teshuvah 341:2 in explanation of Shach 341:3 who prohibits even on Shabbos, thus negating the reason of the Taz that exempts non-relatives

[252] Pischeiy Teshuvah ibid concludes one is to be stringent like the Shach; Kitzur SHU”A 194:11; Pnei Baruch 1:7; Nitei Gavriel ibid

[253] Nitei Gavriel 64:10

[254] See Nitei Gavriel 8:5

[255] Nitei Gavriel 8:11

[256] Gesher Hachaim p. 118; Darkei Chesed p. 70; Nitei Gavriel 8:10; 132:2

[257] Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 10:5

[258] Chasam Sofer 128; Maharam Shick 343; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 10:10 footnote 19

[259] See “A Semicha Aid for learning the laws of Shabbos” The laws of Muktzah Chapter 3 for a full discussion on this topic; See Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 1 chapter 7; Piskeiy Teshuvos 311; Nishmas Avraham 1:319

The law on Yom Tov: In the event that the burial will not take place on Yom Tov, then on Yom Tov Rishon moving the body follows the same laws as on Shabbos. [See Admur 526:1 and 526:10; See M”B 526:12; Nitei Gavriel 7:1; Ashel Avraham Tinyana 526] However, regarding Yom Tov Sheiyni, in 526:10 a dispute is recorded and that we are lenient in certain matters, as explained in the next Halacha!

[260] See Admur and Michaber chapter 311; M”B 526:17; Pnei Baruch 6:11

[261] Admur 307:5; M”A 307; Sefer Chassidim 110

[262] See Nitei Gavriel 128:10

[263] See Mishnas Yaakov 3:402; Nitei Gavriel 128:13; See Reshimos 5 [printed in Toras Menachem Tziyon p. 25] that when the Rebbe Rayatz was in Chicago, they were informed of the death of his mother by telephone, on Shabbos, but the Rebbe Rayatz was only told about it on Motzei Shabbos.

[264] Nitei Gavriel 128:16

[265] Nitei Gavriel ibid protests against those who do so

[266] Admur 311:1

Other opinions/customs: Some communities have the custom that anytime a person passes away on Shabbos, they remove its clothing and lay it on the ground [placing a permitted item on it] in order to prevent any corrosion. [Kaf Hachaim 311:58] However other Poskim [Sheivet Haleivi 4:30] have ruled against doing so, as is the simple implication from Shulchan Aruch. See coming footnotes

[267] See Admur 308:14 and “A Semicha Aid for learning the laws of Shabbos” The laws of Muktzah Chapter 1 Halacha 3 for a full discussion on this topic; See Daas Kedoshim Y.D. 352; Nitei Gavriel 7:1

[268] Admur 311:8

[269] Kaf Hachaim 311:58; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 7:13 footnote 25; Nishmas Avraham ibid

[270] Sheivet Haleivi 4:30; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 7:13 footnote 24; Piskeiy Teshuvos 311:4

[271] Admur 311:9

[272] Admur 311:8; Vetzaruch Iyun how this does not contradict Admur 276:9 that one may always ask gentile to move Muktzah for its space or use, even if the case does not involve a Mitzvah; See Aruch Hashulchan 311:18

[273] See Admur 311:1-2

[274] Admur 311:3-4

[275] Admur 311:4

[276] Admur 311:4

[277] Admur 311:12

[278] Admur 311:12

[279] Nitei Gavriel 7:8-9

[280] Admur 311:13; Elya Raba 311:23; Aruch Hashulchan 352:4; M”B 311:5; Poskim in Nitei Gavriel 7:1 footnote 1 and 5

[281] Lev Chaim 2:71; Kaf Hachaim 311:58; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 7:10

[282] See SSH”K 64:13; Piskeiy Teshuvos 311:1 [old edition and new edition]; Nishmas Avraham 2:533

[283] Sefarim ibid in name of Chelkas Yaakov; This can be learned from the fact one can take the body from a Karmalis in order to prevent erosion. Seemingly, only by Muktzah were the Sages stringent to limit its desecration and only allow its movement if there is a permitted item on it.

[284] Based on Admur 311:3 regarding moving to prevent possible erosion, and certainly here when it is done to prevent definite destruction and Bizuiy Hameis; See Nimukei Orach Chaim 311; Har Tzevi 294; Chelkas Yaakov 3:172; Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 7:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 311:1 [new edition]

[285] Chelkas Yaakov ibid; See Nishmas Avraham ibid that today when there is only LED lights it is Rabbinical

[286] SSH”K ibid; Nishmas Avraham ibid in name of Rav SZ”A that it is forbidden to do so even with an irregularity

[287] Admur 526:2

[288] Admur 526:3

[289] See Admur 526:1 and 10

[290] Admur 526:6

[291] Admur 526:10

[292] Stam opinion in Admur 526:10; Michaber 526:4

[293] Yeish Mi Shemoer brought in Admur ibid

[294] The reason: As the main opinion follows the former opinion brought above. [Admur ibid]

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